RESEARCH PAPERS: Papers on Cell Biomechanics

Application of the Micropipette Technique to the Measurement of Cultured Porcine Aortic Endothelial Cell Viscoelastic Properties

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Sato, N. Ohshima

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan

D. P. Theret, L. T. Wheeler

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77004

R. M. Nerem

Biomechanics Laboratory and School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0405

J Biomech Eng 112(3), 263-268 (Aug 01, 1990) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2891183 History: Received November 28, 1989; Revised May 22, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


The viscoelastic deformation of porcine aortic endothelial cells grown under static culture conditions was measured using the micropipette technique. Experiments were conducted both for control cells (mechanically or trypsin detached from the substrate) and for cells in which cytoskeletal elements were disrupted by cytochalasin B or colchicine. The time course of the aspirated length into the pipette was measured after applying a stepwise increase in aspiration pressure. To analyze the data, a standard linear viscoelastic half-space model of the endothelial cell was used. The aspirated length was expressed as an exponential function of time. The actin microfilaments were found to be the major cytoskeletal component determining the viscoelastic response of endothelial cells grown in static culture.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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